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Dreadlocks Story: Uncovering the hidden connection of Hindu Sadhus and Jamaican Rastas

The only documentary made which uncovers the hidden link between Hindu sadhus and Jamaican Rastas

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Image source: www.documentarydude.com

By Shubhi Mangla

“Dreadlocks Story” is an 83-minute documentary which conveys the spiritual connection between Indian Sadhus and Jamaican Rastas. The Film was screened in four countries; India, Jamaica, USA and France and has gained a lot of momentum since last year. The documentary not only portrays the ethnic and rich heritage of Jamaica and but also talks about the roots of Rastafarian movement which was largely influenced by Hindu traditions. It reveals the secrets of Rastas in a unique way. The film is available in English, Hindi, French and Jamaican Patios with English, French and Spanish subtitles. Beginning right from the dreadlock’s hair style, the documentary takes its audience towards the never known history of Jamaica. The documentary also portrays the experiences of African slaves and how Indian workers were forced into servitude.

You can watch the trailer here

The film has been part of world’s biggest film festivals and cultural events. It has won many awards for Best Feature Documentary at 12 Months Film Festival in Romania, Davis International Film Festival in California, USA, IPHIAS in Jamaica and Intimalente Ethnographic Film Festival, Italy. Also winning the Platinum Documentary Feature Competition in Nevada International Film Festival, Nevada, USA.

About the Filmmaker

 Linda Ainouche- www.afrykamera.pl
Linda Ainouche- www.afrykamera.pl

The documentary is written, directed and produced by Linda Ainouche, an Anthropologist Researcher. She was born in France and has stayed in a couple of counties throughout her life. She is currently settled in New York. She came up with this documentary to provide a platform to the Rastafari movement and Indian influence on it.  Being an avid traveller she developed interest in exploring international cultural connections.

As a multi-lingual ethnographer and culture analyst, her works have been widely published in Hindi and English. Apart from Dreadlock story, she is also recognized for her works in Jainism. Linda is the founder of Look At My Productions. She has also worked with leading filmmakers and cultural consultants. She enjoys producing live events. Linda has a brilliant capability to go deep into the subject of her research and bring out the best in it.

The Dreadlocks Story

The documentary conveyed the spiritual link between the much criticized Dreadlock hairstyle and the Hindu culture. The documentary managed to touch sensitive topics like beliefs and superstitions in a much lighter way. In just a few minutes, it managed to answers various questions relating to Indian heritage in the history of Jamaican society. It gives a glimpse of the Rasta way of life and Hindu sadhus being involoved in it.

vimeo.com
vimeo.com

Filmmaker Linda Ainouche said in an interview conducted by India Empire Group, “Through it, I wanted to show people that in the face of adversity there is still hope, beauty, and the possibility of something new. By examining the diverse influences found in Rasta culture, Dreadlocks Story exhibits the strength and magnificence of a movement grounded in anti-slavery and anti-imperialist struggles. My findings also affirm the continued importance of Indian heritage in Jamaican society. We find it in various aspects, including cuisine, language, agriculture and medicine, to name just a few. The Hindu way of life, especially of Sadhus, can be seen in the practices of the Rasta way of life”.

Like India too, Jamaica was also ruled by British colonialists till 1962. Both Indians and Afro-Jamaicans were abducted and forced to work in sugar and banana plantations in Jamaica. The positive relationship of Indian slaves with their daily hardships shows that enslaved people have not only come from Africa. The African and Indian labourers were also bounded with contracts.

The pioneer of the Rastafari movement, Leonard Percival Howell was the First Rasta who believed that everyone should be divine through the anatomy of Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia thus starting the Rasta movement. His early followers were mostly poor and mentally oppressed people. Howell spent two years in jail and wrote a pamphlet under an Indian pen name, Gangunguru Maharaj which noted the significance of lifestyles of Jamaican Rastas and Indian sadhus (Holy men).

Leonard Percival Howell- twitter.com
Leonard Percival Howell- twitter.com

Howell, became the first black man to own a piece of land called ‘Pinnacle’, where he formed a self-dependent community for his followers. However, the community was completely destroyed by the colonists in 1958 which resulted in huge displacement of Rastas from Jamaica.

Wearing dreadlocks, became a means of defiance against the Pinnacle community. Today, dreadlocks are not only found in Jamaica but also in the Caribbean. Although today, a few accommodations have been made for Rastafarians, their struggle against discrimination and prejudice are still rife.

Reference:

http://www.dreadlockstory.com/

Shubhi Mangla is a student of Journalism and Mass Communiaction in New Delhi. Follow her on twitter @shubhi_mangla

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Dreadlocks have been one of the most fascinating thing for me since I was a child. I’m looking forward to watch this interesting movie

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The Best Destinations for a Perfect Travel Experience

Here are some offbeat Indian destinations for backpackers

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Travel destinations
For millennials, travel is not just a means of escaping a busy lifestyle, but an end in itself. Pixabay

Millennials are seekers of wholesome experiences. For them, travel is not just a means of escaping a busy lifestyle, but an end in itself. It’s an essential part of life, not a break away from it.

In sync with the new taste and preferences of young adventure-seekers, the following places are rising up to the occasion by enhancing their travel experiences:

Wayanad- travel
Wayanad is the perfect travel destination for nature-lovers. Pixabay

Aurangabad
An exquisite confluence of history and culture, Aurangabad is home to the renowned Ajanta and Ellora Caves, a lot of old forts, art galleries, and museums. Besides this, the place is a bubbling, simmering pot of a range of dishes that no food-lover can afford to miss.

Mukteshwar
What could be better than mountains and peace? Mukteshwar is the stuff that a nature lover’s dreams are made of. It is the perfect place to chill alongside Nature within the folds of mighty mountains while enjoying the soul-soothing embrace of sunlight and the skin-tingling kiss of wintry waft. Mukteshwar is less than an eight-hour drive from Delhi, making it one of the closest hill stations to the Capital.

Wayanad
Wayanad is another treat for nature-lovers who also seek unique cultural experiences. Situated at a distance of 76 kilometers from the beaches of Kozhikode, the region is popular among backpackers on account of its near-perfect weather and scenic setting punctuated with dams, lakes, and hike trails. The town paints a quaint and soothing picture with the lush green of mountainous plateaus, picturesque jungles, and idyllic valleys dominating. Squatting atop the Western Ghats and enclosing part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, Wayanad is not considered the most beautiful district in Kerala in vain.

Alleppey- travel
Alleppey is a famous travel destination known for its backwaters and houseboats. Pixabay

Pokhara
Pokhara is often called the tourism capital of Nepal – and it is not in vain that it has received this moniker. It serves as a gateway to the renowned Annapurna Circuit, is among the most exciting paragliding destinations the world over, and offers the entrancing sight of the beautiful lake framed by sky-piercing mountains. What crystallizes its reputation as the ultimate ‘Adventure Land of Nepal’ is that it cuts a less busy version of Kathmandu while holding on its own as a must-visit backpacker’s paradise.

Also Read- Marine Animals Can Help Humans Monitor Oceans: Study

Alleppey
It is only when one has explored the intricate network of waterways which can only have been knitted by Mother Chaos that one realizes that the tag ‘Venice of the East’ does Alleppey injustice. Perpetually carrying the fascinating look of a forest having just emerged from a spell of rain, the region is famous for its toddy shops, punted boats, coir industry, paddy fields, the floating villages, and houseboats! (IANS)